Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Foucher, I'm very happy to see you here this morning. I was the one who requested your appearance here.
Mr. Pelletier, as I told you, I'm very happy to meet you. Many people have told me that you are an accomplished constitutional expert. I think of myself as an amateur constitutionalist. Maybe we can put that to the test.
I would like to get right down to business. We decided to improve on the Senate's study by focusing on elements related to the tribunal and the positive measures mentioned in part VII. If I understand correctly, when the act was last amended in 2005, lawmakers wanted to make the notion of positive measures more tangible in part VII.
Mr. Pelletier, I've been told that you are an expert on intergovernmental relations. Perhaps you are too, Mr. Foucher. I don't know.
Here's what I'd like to ask you. Take the Université de l'Ontario français, an exceptional undertaking that, for the first time in Canada's history, would give the federal government the opportunity to implement a truly positive measure by circumventing the provincial government and funding the university directly by various means. If that were to happen, what would the consequences be?
Similarly, if the wording of part VII were to extend beyond the realm of possibility into duty, any community could, at some point, contact the federal government, tell the government the community is dying, and call on the government to take positive measures. My question is really two questions in one.
First, in a case like that, how could the government determine if the community is truly in danger?
Second, if the government were to take positive measures in an area under provincial jurisdiction, what would the consequences be in terms of shared jurisdiction under the Constitution?